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Rep. John Lewis: "There's no such thing as an illegal human being." By Roger Algase

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Appearing on NBC News' "Meet the Press" (March 8), the iconic civil rights advocate and Selma marcher, Representative John Lewis (D. Ga) was asked about immigration reform by Chuck Todd. Their exchange included the following:

Rep. Lewis:

"We need comprehensive immigration reform. It doesn't make sense in our country to have millions and millions of people living in the shadows."

Chuck Todd: "Do you think this is a civil rights issue?"

Rep. Lewis: "It is a major civil rights issue to have more than 11 who came here and have been treated like they shouldn't be here. We go around saying they're 'illegal'. There's no such thing as an illegal human being."

Immigration advocates and opponents alike are used to analyzing immigration law issues from the standpoint of employment law, visa law, constitutional law, statutory interpretation law, family law and criminal law, among other legal disciplines. Representative Lewis reminds us that the time to consider immigration law from the perspective of civil rights law and human rights law is long overdue.

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Updated 03-08-2015 at 02:14 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. ILWlurker's Avatar
    The question, really, is, how many individuals should be able to immigrate lawfully in a given year? Your spewing contempt means nothing, if you are not willing to answer that question.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    It is a little sad to think that there are people in this world who contend that speaking out in favor of human rights and civil rights for immigrants is the same as "spewing contempt." But, clearly, such people do exist.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
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